Holy Smokes! Does this picture get you jacked up? If not, you don't have a pulse. Lately I have been flirting with a new obsession. Funny thing is that I'm not the only one. Our conventional mind of bass, walleye and heck, even muskies, has been totally skewed by a new love. This new love is overtaking much of our free time. A quest for what we are calling "the most beautiful fish in the river!" That's fine, you can call me crazy, I don't care, I'm in love with a catfish!
When it comes to fishing I find myself always looking for the next big thing. I have an obsession for huge fish, and I'm always looking for the next battle or heart pumping action. Kinda fuels the fire so to speak. I'm never satisfied. Maybe it's the challenge, or the excitement once the fish strikes, but I can't control it. I want to see what we can outsmart next, and it has lead myself and a few good buddies to the flowing waters of our local rivers.
Matt Hennen is the newly appointed "Catman." In fact, he has the bug even worse than I do if that is at all possible. All of his free time has been spent experimenting and learning the river. We have been fishing together several times, and he continues to improve his precise knowleadge of our new favorite fish. As any new specie and challenge, it takes time. Understanding the current, timing, presentations, and fish holding areas are key. But once you get all the ingredients dialed in, it is one heck of a wild ride. This has been the case over the last few weeks. You could call it a "lucky horse shoe," or persistance paying off. Regardless, the past two seasons of trial and mostly "error" are paying off in a huge way. Our expectations are increasing by the trip. No longer do we hope to get a strike, in fact, we are almost dissapointed if we don't break the 20 pound mark in an evening. The results of all the hard work have been nothing short of spectacular. So much so that I can't stop writing about it.
Imagine a peaceful evening with waters flowing past you. Darkness falls and quiet sets in. Just you and the sounds of the flowing water. That is until the anticipation mounts to the point that you can almost hear your heart pounding. A strike awaits that is so fierce that it almost rips the rod out of your hands. Will it hit my bait, or my friends? How big will it be? These are some of the thoughts running through your mind. The best part, these thoughts are becoming a reality each and every trip out. Here are some numbers to ponder. In the past 15 trips, Matt andthe crew have boated at least one fish every time but once. In Matt's perfectly crafted catfish machine, we have boated fish in the 15 to 20 pound class with regularity. Not to mention the back to back fish weighing 37 and 38 pounds Wednesday and Thursday evening. Our most recent trip gives you the picture that you opened with. This past friday night we snuck out on the water with a goal of 50lbs. None of us were laughing at our goals, and we never stopped talking about it. Matt kept his "horseshoe" for the night, because his squirming bait kept on getting throttled. He landed the first one, which was nice, but small by our standards 50 was still on our mind. Persistance paid off big at the stroke of midnight. The near full moon illuminated the sky to watch a battle that I have never before seen. Man vs. Beast should have been the title, and incredible is all that describes it. Our 50 pound digital scale exceeded it's limits when it read 53 pounds. How? I don't know, but it was almost like winning the lottery. For Matt, his incredibly growing success for this new monster of the river has been great to watch. For him to score and see the excitement of his hard work paying off is priceless. It was almost bittersweet watching the beast swim away, but leads us to wonder, how big will they get, and what is next?
If anybody wants to get in on this incredible action, please do not hesitate to call. The time is now, and the experience is incredible. You will never forget this opportunity. I am putting this excitement right up there with my state record muskie antics, and that is saying a lot. From the flowing waters of the beautiful beast, Keep on Livin' the Dream!